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<nettime> ivogram x6: tourism, schlamperei, bush, ashcroft live!, war on
Ivo Skoric on Wed, 20 Aug 2003 23:13:06 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> ivogram x6: tourism, schlamperei, bush, ashcroft live!, war on journos


     [digested  {AT}  nettime]

"Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
     Extreme Tourist Experience
     Amerikanische Schlamperei
     Bush's preferences
     perfect opportunity for demonstrations to uphold constitutional 
     US at war with Press Corps in Iraq

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 09:08:19 -0400
Subject: Extreme Tourist Experience

Ulcin has a small sandy beach, crowded as the Holland tunnel in rush 
hour, called appropriately "The Small Beach". I literally walked over 
bodies to reach the muggy water. It is 2 Euros to bath there. Which 
explains why the beach is clean every morning: there are guys paid to 
clean it up every evening. A necessary solution for the place that so 
carelessly dispose of its garbage as Montenegro is.

There is also a 13 km long sandy beach, called simply "The Long 
Beach", outside of the town, where tourists from Belgrade go.

I stay in a house perched atop a cliff. One kid jumped off today. It 
is 60 feet, maybe higher. But jumping from crazy heights is a rite of 
passage for boys here. One that precedes, agewise, rally racing on 
the poorly maintained, narrow mountain roads. 

What would they think of New Jersey - where most of the pools had 
their springboards removed for insurance purposes? And what of the 55 
mph speed limit on six-lane highways?  The opposing cliff is covered 
with modern man litter: PVC bags and type 2 clear recyclable plastic.

It is easy to guess that most of the guests here are Kosovo 
Albanians: restaurants play corny music, restrooms in private 
accommodation have a bottle of water near the toilette, and no 
toilette paper; and the beggars, which, with stray dogs, are 
commonplace in Ulcin, beg in Albanian. Germans and even Czechs do not 
manage to reach Ulcin.

Officially there is 120,000 tourists in Montenegro. Unofficially, 
there is twice as much. Every homeowner in Ulcin rents every room of 
their houses to guests and sleeps in the kitchen. By not reporting 
all the guests, they save on taxes. That ads 40% to the population of 
Montenegro during Summer. 

In dry years that is bound to cause water shortages - as there are 
now in Bar, Budva, and, somewhat, Ulcin. Also, sewer pipes tend to 
break under increased pressure, causing the unpleasant smell of some 
locales. And the drought also nurture forest fires - often caused by 
a cigarette butt thrown through the car window. Everybody smokes, and 
everybody just throws things out from the car, as if the nature is a 
big garbage bin.

All the roads look like they can barely be one way, yet they are all 
two-way roads, plus the pedestrians walk right in the middle, and in 
the country, not that seldom, you can run into a cow.

Also, it is very good to be a man. Men can walk around dressed (or 
undressed) as they wish, they can drive as they please, do what they 
desire, and women are supposed to hover around them looking to be of 
some help to them.

Ada Bojana: no Kosovars there, but the place to see Belgraders 
literally naked, and ‘the Montenegrin lawnmowers' (cows graze freely) 
in action. Also, it is a little cleaner than on the Ulqin side. 
Still, no paper in the bathrooms. No water either. It is interesting 
how most of the foreign help focuses on democracy and freedom, while 
people here feel and behave much more uninhibited than in many other 
places I've lived at, including the U.S.

Yugoslav snowboard team spends their summers here kite-surfing. 
Snowboard instructors from Kopaonik teach basics of wind-surfing and 
kite-surfing. They also rent that equipment and kayaks to tourists. 
But, like everyone else there, they are not really very interested in 
making a buck. I observed how they nearly drove away a group of 
Albanian-Americans from The Bronx, when they inquired about renting a 
boat. Don't expect the eager service with an obsequious smile there.

With its relaxed attitude to dress-code, driving, smoking, and other 
little sinful pleasures, Montenegro overall feels more free than a US 
city (and there is no constant looming threat over your head). Oh, of 
course, I took a kayak to the Albanian border. No patrol-boat with 
120mm guns showed up. Just one soldier in camouflage (camouflage 
uniforms became the fashion choice of all armies liberated from 
communism, because of their association with the mighty Hollywood), 
whistled after me, and shouted: "Hey, you can't go down there." Very 
little is regulated. The police is more courteous and respectful than 
NYPD. They gave up on giving a damn. They definitely let me go on 
driving without a seatbelt, surprising my wife (who said that this 
was only because I was a guy in this ultra-macho society). 

The new tourist attraction of Montenegrin coast, however, is becoming 
the "sewage waterfalls." Rugged and intimidating cliffs with broken 
pipes draped over them. One lady, close to where I stay, just walks 
out of her house with the garbage bin, and empties the garbage right 
over the fence, that marks the cliff. Some of it ends in the water, 
some of it stays covering the cliff. Garbage container is too far to 
walk to, they say.

And the sewers were never built - because all this housing is the 
temporary accommodation, established after the big earthquake, that 
devastated Ulcin eight years ago. There was a Hotel here before the 
earthquake. Now there are houses of those that lost theirs due to it.

They, however, have no ownership rights, hence no interest in 
investing in an expensive project like a 3km long sewer pipe. So, the 
pipi and kaka of the local tenants goes over the cliff into the sea, 
right in their backyard. For most of the year, that means less than 
50 people, and very turbulent seas that do a quick clean-up.

In summer the sea is calm, and local families sleep in their 
kitchens, renting all their rooms to tourists, most often Kosovo 
Albanians, at least doubling the population using the same broken 
sewer line. So, it would be really smelly and disgusting for a 
spoiled American tourist, I guess. Or a European. They, seeing that 
garbage is everywhere, contribute with their own litter.

Otherwise, this place has one of the most breathtaking ‘extreme 
backyards' I've seen so far. As I said, the house is perched atop a 
60 ft cliff, with the living room window having a view over the sea 
that extends all the way to Italy. The cliff ends in a natural ramp 
that reaches deep in the sea like an arm of a giant rocky creature. 

The ramp is vertical on both sides, and, fortunately, the bigger 
sewer line empties on the side that is not deep enough to jump. On 
the other side one can jump from 50 ft right from ones backyard into 
refreshingly cold, deep sea.. The path to the sharp edged ramp is a 
narrow passage framed by the torny Montenegrin vegetation and guarded 
by Rocky, a small yellow dog that barks very loud when somebody comes 
close to his passage.

That punk kid and his friend came again, he jumped right from the 
top, while the other again hesitated, than, teased to death by the 
first kid, walked half, or, perhaps, three-quarters way down and 
jumped from there. I was told by my host's teenage daughter that 
those two are the worst pupils in her school. They proudly admitted 
to that.

Naturally, the company that owned a hotel here before the earthquake 
wants to build another one on the same spot. Then, of course, they 
would built a sewer and organize the garbage collection. But they 
have no money to begin with, and the current tenants, of course, do 
not want to leave their lucrative location.

The land-ownership is unclear, since the privatization drive occurred 
in Montenegro only after the earthquake, when this location was 
already assigned the temporary relief status. Left to the market 
regulation of this liberal's paradise without clear ownership, 
tenants stay where they are until further notice, and nobody is 
building a sewer or organizing garbage collection, since they are 
there just temporary, well into their ninth year.

Because of one parameter of their location - closeness to the sea, 
they can rent their rooms in summer, and because of another - open 
sewer, they have to rent them to the poorest of tourists - Kosovo 
Albainians. They can't care less about littering, since they see the 
garbage everywhere around anyway.

This by far is not an isolated problem: the municipal sewer line of 
the town of Ulcin is also broken. This, looks like a much more urgent 
target for USAID and/or EU help, than making more political parties 
in Montenegro. Local joke says: one hundred Montenegrins went to war, 
one hundred one returned.

Montenegro is between US and EU, and between Kosovo and Belgrade. US 
invests more money, but in the less tangible projects. EU built 
public lights in Bar and Golubovac, and repaired the main road 
between Podgorica and Bar, but earmarks a little money for 
Montenegro.

Belgrade tourists contribute to car accidents, Kosovo tourists 
contribute to littering. Both groups are involved in drug trade that 
comes from Albania - I felt as if I am in my old neighborhood's 
subway station on 110th Street and Lexington Avenue, when I found a 
used syringe in the background of a dilapidated house at the river 
Bojana's estuary.

Given the garbage problem, and the natural beauty that is endangered 
by it, Montenegro has plenty of environmentalists. They ask: did we 
deserve such beauty? Eco-society Kalimero of Ulcinj established Eco 
Patrol that fights illegal fishing with dynamite, pollution of River 
Bojana, and the excessive littering everywhere. They are too small, 
though, to stop the massive assault on the environment cause by 
unregulated summer tourism.
								
Eco Center Delphin from Kotor is luckier: they are included on the 
town's appropriations committee and receive USAID funds. Also, with 
most of Belgrade tourists in Budva, and most of Kosovo tourists in 
Ulqin-Ulcinj, Kotor is a relatively safe haven for environment.

Of all river-canyons in Montenegro, the most polluted is Zeta.  It is 
the widest valley, so it was suitable for settlement, agriculture, 
and industry. The results are devastating. The second largest 
Montenegrin city of Niksic, often disposed untreated sewage waste 
directly into Zeta, for the lack of resources to do anything else. 
There are couple of murmur factories along the river, which empty 
their waste in it. People who live along, use the river banks for 
garbage disposal.

Generally, if the car brakes down, or is involved in an accident, and 
it is not recoverable, in Montenegro, people just live it where it 
died, or hurl it down the steep slope to the river at the bottom of 
the canyon.

Ecological Society of Spuz is particularly angry at the murmur 
factories, now. That's because the main polluter- aluminum smelter in 
Podgorica, the second largest in Europe - operating at 40% is not any 
more the main threat to the survival of the river.

One can argue for independence of Montenegro on ecological grounds - 
with their borders, they would be more capable of controlling the 
influx of tourists. Alternatively, the independence of Kosovo would 
also help. As foreign citizens, Kosovars would be required to pay 
double the tax (as I am), and given their numbers, that would 
increase the Montenegrin budget, and thus ability to deal with the 
waste collection, forest fire prevention, and sewer repair - which 
should be the utmost priority now. Unless, of course, that money does 
not end up in a private pocket - which would not be that surprising 
here, where everything is run as a small business.

Needless to say, I acquired stomach pains and diarrhea during my 
short stay at Ulcinj.

Ivo---------------------------------------------------------
Ivo Skoric
19 Baxter Street
Rutland VT 05701
802.775.7257
ivo {AT} balkansnet.org
balkansnet.org

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 09:08:23 -0400
Subject: Amerikanische Schlamperei

While in Africa, Asia, and some parts of Eastern Europe, black-outs 
are normal and predictable events, there was never a black-out the 
size and scope of the recent one that hit the Eastern seaboard of 
North America.

Explanations provided by US officials - about the aging electro-
distribution system - sound a little incredulous coming from the 
hyper-electrified hyper-power.

Whole states (like Connecticut), large cities in two different 
countries, like Detroit and Toronto, and the cosmopolitan center of 
the world New York city, were left without power - some parts for 
more than 20 hours.

The subways stopped running, the elevators stood still, the air 
conditioners died, the refrigerators went warm, a 15 million city of 
lights went dark. Of course, the computers lost data, the stock 
exchange stopped working, and the criminals had their day, ending up 
with $750 million in damages for New York by early estimates. That 
number will add up to the next year projected fiscal deficit of $2 
billion, making it 3....

How is it possible that in a not so hot summer in the North America
such a large and totally unpredicted black-out occurred? If this was 
not a terrorist attack, than what it was? German media offered a 
theory of a computer-virus attack (similar to one that is currently 
targeting Microsoft), targetting electro-distribution in the American 
Northeast.

During NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the US dropped grafite 
bombs over Serbian power-plants leaving 2/3 of the country 
temporarily in the dark. Could it be really that here there was no 
outside attack, but merely negligence of the US power providers?

While, undoubtedly, the US military is a very efficient conquering 
apparatus, the US home security systems are simply inadequate, 
regardless of all the intentions of the current government to install 
a sort of a more authoritarian domestic regime.

They, perhaps, pay attention to the wrong details. An example is my 
recent trip to Europe. The security personell at New York's JFK 
airport made us take our shoes off, addressing the past terrorist 
attack attempts, but the screeners failed to notice 6 cigarrete 
lighters packed-up in the checked luggage of my wife (intended for 
her mom, an avid smoker living in a country with ludicrously 
expensive lighters...).

The lighters were discovered only on Frankfurt airport, when we 
boarded for the next leg of our journey. I was unaware of that gift 
in my wife's luggage (otherwise I would have told her that she can't 
pack that in the checked luggage), but I find it rather disturbing 
that the quantity of fuel, that could in fact have been used to cause 
a fire on the airplane, went un-noticed on a trans-Atlantic flight. 
That story, however, makes it easier for me to understand how the 
recent black-out might have happened.

ivo

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 12:36:20 -0400
Subject: Bush's preferences

Need to read also Karl Meyer's article in World Policy Journal 
"Postcards from Planet Jupiter" drawintg a parallel between GWB and 
kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany: "Yet some also noted his tendency to 
swagger, his love of uniforms, his intellectual shallowness, and his 
repeated references to Germany's providential mission." What followed 
was two world wars, demisse of four empires, creation of the Middle 
East problem, attempt to extinguish a race, and the first ever use of 
weapons of mass destruction, by Germans, of course, at Ypres....

ivo

On 14 Aug 2003 at 1:04, Miroslav Visic wrote:


From: Dr Peter Hall <phall {AT} GN.APC.ORG>
  --------------------------------------------------------------------

I have long considered Bush to have too fragile a sense confidence to
be comfortable with uncertainty .

Here psychologists "peer into the psyche of President George Bush, who
turns out to be a textbook case. The telltale signs are his preference
for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance. "

"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the
familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose
simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the
Psychological Bulletin.

One of the psychologists behind the study, Jack Glaser, said the
aversion to shades of grey and the need for "closure" could explain
the fact that the Bush administration ignored intelligence that
contradicted its beliefs about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Peter Hall

==============================


        Study of Bush's psyche touches a nerve

Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday August 13, 2003
The Guardian

A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism
can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear
and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity".

As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the
report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the
rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered 
from the same affliction.

All of them "preached a return to an idealised past and condoned
inequality".

Republicans are demanding to know why the psychologists behind the
report, Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition, received
$1.2m in public funds for their research from the National Science
Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

The authors also peer into the psyche of President George Bush, who
turns out to be a textbook case. The telltale signs are his preference
for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance.

"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the
familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose
simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the
Psychological Bulletin.

One of the psychologists behind the study, Jack Glaser, said the
aversion to shades of grey and the need for "closure" could explain
the fact that the Bush administration ignored intelligence that
contradicted its beliefs about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The authors, presumably aware of the outrage they were likely to
trigger, added a disclaimer that their study "does not mean that
conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are
necessarily false".

Another author, Arie Kruglanski, of the University of Maryland, said
he had received hate mail since the article was published, but he
insisted that the study "is not critical of conservatives at all".
"The variables we talk about are general human dimensions," he said.
"These are the same dimensions that contribute to loyalty and
commitment to the group. Liberals might be less intolerant of
ambiguity, but they may be less decisive, less committed, less 
loyal."

But what drives the psychologists? George Will, a Washington Post
columnist who has long suffered from ingrained conservatism, noted,
tartly: "The professors have ideas; the rest of us have emanations of
our psychological needs and neuroses."



--

______________________________________________________________________
_______________ There are no unconquerable fortresses. There are only
bad conquerors.

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 09:07:51 -0400
Subject: perfect opportunity for demonstrations to uphold constitutional 
     freedoms

Commrade Aschcroftski is coming to speak in a town near you.

ivo

------- Forwarded message follows -------
causenet {AT} commoncause.org wrote:CauseNET For August 18th, 2003 

Is Ashcroft Looking Over Your Shoulder?
John Ashcroft: Coming to a Town Near You? 
On August 19th, Attorney General John Ashcroft will begin traveling to
over a dozen U.S. cities to “set the record straight” about
“mischaracterizations” of powers granted to the Justice Department
under the USA Patriot Act. Ashcroft may also advocate for additional
powers proposed by the so-called “Patriot Act II.” ACT NOW!

http://causenet.commoncause.org/afr/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=3127476 

"To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost
liberty my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they
erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." -- John Ashcroft

Common Cause has a long history of advocating for civil liberties. We
continue to monitor the effects of the Patriot Act and its
authorization of government intrusion into lives of average Americans.

We believe that portions of Patriot Act violate the fundamental rights
guaranteed to you under the Constitution. Is “Big Brother” Here? He
could be. The USA Patriot Act, passed by Congress shortly after 9/11,
grants the government new authority to investigate not just suspected
terrorists, but you, your neighbor, and any other United States
citizen or resident. For example: 1. The Act expands the government’s
ability to look at your personal records, kept by any organization -
libraries, doctor’s offices, banks - without showing any evidence that
you are involved in wrong-doing. 2. It also permits the government to
investigate you based on the books you read, the websites you visit,
or Letters-to-the-Editor you write. 3. If you are an activist and
participate in protests against government action you put yourself at
risk of surveillance or even arrest.

For more information:
http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=12126&c=207 It’s
Time For ACTION. Tell Mr. Ashcroft what you think about the Patriot
Act! Here are three ways you can TAKE ACTION: 1. Send a message to 
Mr.  Ashcroft.

http://causenet.commoncause.org/afr/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=3124762 . 

Spread the word. Forward this alert to your friends, family, and co-workers.
http://causenet.commoncause.org/afr/tellafriend/compose/ 3. Attend the
event with Mr. Ashcroft if he comes to a city near you.

http://www.commoncause.org/action/action.cfm?artid=69&topicid=16 

A posting of Victoria Talbot.

This is not a Monadnock Freedom Forum message, but repesents one
citizen's thoughts & concerns. 

---------------------------------
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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 09:07:53 -0400
Subject: US at war with Press Corps in Iraq

Just as they exonerated the crew that killed journalists in the 
Palestine Hotel, Americans killed a Reuters cameraman and wounded an 
Al Jazeera one - again. Reuters and Al Jazeera seem to be 
particularly targeted, and maybe it is a time for an independent 
inquiry whether there is a pattern behind this madness.
ivo


U.S. TROOPS SHOOT DEAD REUTERS CAMERAMAN. U.S. troops shot dead
Reuters cameraman Mazan Dana as he filmed outside the Abu Ghraib
prison in western Baghdad, Reuters reported on 17 August. The prison
had earlier been under mortar attack. Dana's last footage shows a
U.S. tank driving toward him outside the prison. Soldiers evidently
mistook the camera he had shouldered for a rocket-propelled grenade
launcher, a spokesman for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
told Reuters yesterday. Reuters soundman Nael al-Shyoukhi said that
before the shooting, the crew had requested and then been denied
permission to speak to an officer, indicating that U.S. troops knew
of the crew's presence. Since war began in March, 17 media
workers have died in Iraq and two are missing. A seasoned war
reporter, Dana, 43, was awarded an International Press Freedom Award
in 2001 by the Committee to Protect Journalists for his work in
Hebron where he was repeatedly wounded and beaten. He is the second
Reuters employee to die since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. CAF

U.S. MILITARY EXONERATES TANK CREW IN DEATH OF UKRAINIAN JOURNALIST
IN IRAQ. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a news release on its
website (http://www.centcom.mil) on 12 August that the U.S. tank that
fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on 8 April -- resulting in
the deaths of Ukrainian Reuters cameraman Taras Protsyuk and Spanish
Telecinco cameraman Jose Couso -- was deemed to have acted
appropriately under the circumstances. Kyiv had officially requested
that Washington probe circumstances surrounding Protsyuk's death
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 April 2003). The tank crew "properly fired
upon a suspected enemy hunter/killer team in a proportionate and
justifiably measured response," according to CENTCOM, which added,
"The action was fully in accordance with the Rules of Engagement."
The crew reportedly discovered only after it fired a single,
120-millimeter tank round at the building that the structure was the
Palestine Hotel. CENTCOM expressed regret over the deaths of the
journalists. "The journalists' death at the Palestine Hotel was a
tragedy and the United States has the deepest sympathies for the
families of those who were killed," CENTCOM said. ("RFE/RL Newsline,"
13 August 2003)

CPJ TROUBLED BY RESULTS OF PALESTINE HOTEL INQUIRY. In a 12 August
statement in response to the CENTCOM report, the New York-based
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nongovernmental group
promoting media freedom around the world, says it continues to
question events surrounding the shelling of the Palestine Hotel in
Baghdad. CPJ has conducted its own investigation into the incident
and says CENTCOM has not yet fully addressed the issue of whether
U.S. troops were aware they were firing on journalists. The
organization is calling upon CENTCOM to make public its full report,
which has been classified. CPJ's study is based on interviews
with about a dozen reporters who were at the scene, including two
embedded journalists who monitored military radio traffic before and
after the shelling occurred. These accounts suggests that the attack
on the journalists, while not deliberate, was avoidable. Pentagon
officials, as well as commanders on the ground in Baghdad, knew that
the Palestine Hotel was full of international journalists and were
intent on not hitting it, the CPJ's report says. CPJ filed
requests for further information under the Freedom of Information Act
but the Defense Department did not supply any materials except public
transcripts already available. In a 14 April letter to the CPJ,
Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said, "coalition forces were
fired upon and acted in self-defense by returning fire" and that news
organizations had been warned that Baghdad was "particularly
dangerous." The CPJ report can be viewed at
http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2003/palestine_hotel/palestine_hotel.htm
l CAF

AL-JAZEERA CREW INJURED IN GRENADE ATTACK. A cameraman for the
Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera and his assistant were
injured on 10 August, during a grenade attack on U.S. troops in
Baghdad, CPJ reported on its website the same day
(http://www.cpj.org). Cameraman Hussein Ali Hassan and his assistant
Mustafa Hazem suffered shrapnel wounds to their legs after an
assailant (or assailants) dropped a grenade from a 10th-floor window
at Baghdad University, Al-Jazeera assistant producer Ziad Ajlouni
told CPJ. The blast reportedly also wounded two U.S. soldiers.
Ajlouni said that U.S. forces had invited the Al-Jazeera team to
cover troops distributing furniture to the university. Both Hassan
and Hazem were taken to a hospital for treatment and were later
released with minor injuries. CAF

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